Trust me, I'm a Doctor!

I have known for many years that suicide rates are higher amongst some professions than others. Figures published recently in a mental health journal show that farmers, police officers, and those working in the medical field are in the top 10. In my opinion stress is the major cause of much of the mental and physical disease in the western world. I was interested to attend an event this week where the stats were shown and panel discussions held on the mental health issues of vets, dentists and doctors in the UK.

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The delegates heard how vets lead quite isolated lives, that dentists suffer with boredom and depression and that both senior and student or recently qualified medical doctors are very prone to mental health issues because of work pressures and/or financial stress. A newly qualified doctor earns just £12 an hour. To give you a comparison, a London bus driver brings home £10.90 an hour. The event was held by Medic Footprints who have a brand new crowdfunding campaign to raise money for their organisation which focuses on Diverse Careers and Wellbeing for Doctors.

There were a number of presentations and awards given out during the evening, but what caught my attention was a particular slide that showed the results of their survey asking their potential clients what topics they were most interested in as resources for their website. The answers ranged from having information on other careers using their existing skills such as media, health tech, management consultancy, occupational medicine and working overseas. But the largest and by far the most significant request was for information on “wellbeing and lifestyle medicine”.

 56% want to know more about wellbeing and lifestyle medicine

56% want to know more about wellbeing and lifestyle medicine

What? I might hear you say.

But aren’t these medical professionals? Don’t they already know about this stuff?

Well you would think so, but as a former nurse myself I know that the focus of education for those delivering the majority of care in the world are trained to diagnose and treat symptoms. I was trained within the UK National Health Service, which increasingly is actually a National ILLNESS service, where Doctors and nurses have no lifestyle medicine, otherwise known as functional medicine, training. Professionals are under increasing pressure in terms of resources and time to address the mega health trends of the nation and the complex range of conditions that their patients present with on a daily basis. However, there is a growing awareness with the high profile work of Dr. Rangan Chatterjee as a GP working in the lifestyle medicine field who is encouraging and training other doctors to do the same.

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As you may know, I have been studying functional nutrition using the approach of building health rather than treating disease for many years. Apart from being able to spend quality time with clients and provide nutritional and lifestyle programmes not just the natural health supplements I use for myself and my family, my awareness of the importance of self-care as a wellbeing provider has heightened my effectiveness and holistic approach to each individual I meet. Through my work I know so many wonderful people transforming the mental and physical health of their clients with very common issues such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, mental and emotional issues, autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, fertility issues, sexual function problems, etc etc all with NO DRUGS, NO SURGERY, and sustained results.

There is definitely a shift towards a more holistic and self-care centred approach from the most enlightened of medical professionals. It is my plan to bring more of these onto my show to make contact with the band of complimentary and alternate therapists and coaches who are doing such great work. I often hear from my clients that they are taking a certain drug or undergoing a treatment because their doctor has told them to. They are frightened or reluctant to try more natural treatments or protocols as they are certain that they are getting the best advice from their GP or specialist. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a big admirer of the medical profession, BUT, your health is your responsibility, not theirs and therefore you are the one that has to decide who to trust.

So it’s not a matter of if but when, as more medics themselves are looking towards functional medicine, is it time for you to do the same? I take a few new private clients a year, please get in touch and we can discuss what is right for you.

if you enjoyed this article and want to read some more, drop your email address below and I will keep you posted.

My approach to achieving elite health is covered in my first book The Heart of a Woman, is available now on Amazon (P.S. it’s good for men to read too!)

Gill Barham - The Heart of a Woman

“I read this book 2 days ago in one sitting as it was compelling and spoke to me in lay-mans terms with practical suggestions for incorporating healthy protocols into lifestyle. As a Health & Lifestyle Coach specialising in women Peri/Menopausal and beyond I am constantly reviewing material that supports women's health. This book succinctly puts into one place all that I promote in my client offerings online and in person, so rather than write my own book I'm recommending this to all my clients and potential clients as a start point for them to feel empowered and maybe consider working with me or another health coach to fully to get on their journey to optimal (elite in the book) health.” Amazon reviewer

Paperback: £14.99 Kindle: £2.99